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Organic Trade Association Releases New International Organic Trade Resource Guide

Organic Trade Association Releases New International Organic Trade Resource Guide

Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

To help efficiency match the rising demand for organics across the global, the Organic Trade Association (OTA)  has unveiled a new and enhanced International Organic Trade Resource Guide as a valuable resource for American exporters and importers in the industry. 

Laura Batcha, CEO and Executive Director, OTA“Around the world, the desire for traceable, sustainably produced food is growing, and global demand for U.S. organic has never been stronger,” said Laura Batcha, CEO and Executive Director. “One of OTA’s most important missions is to promote organic, and part of that mission is helping to connect U.S. farmers, ranchers, and businesses with international buyers that are eager to bring the USDA Organic seal to their market. The better the set of data that organic businesses have to work with, the better able they are to connect with those global buyers and to compete on the world market.” 

International Organic Trade Resource Guide's Interactive Map

The guide is an online resource, available here, and offered to the industry for free. The guide encompasses the most comprehensive and up-to-date market, policy, and trade information for global organic markets. 

According to a press release, the guide hosts an interactive map to allow users to pick between one of 40 countries to quickly understand the growth and demand for organic products, top retailers and brands, and consumer demographics in each respective market. The guide also includes the following in-depth information on the countries and 38 trade regions

  • Key marketing and policy data for each region
  • Latest data on a country’s organic regulations and standards
  • Special requirements for imported organic products
  • Certification information
  • Contact connections for government agencies

This information from OTA will allow exporters to strategize for success, said the company, and compare high opportunities with consistent data points across different regions. Such information will be beneficial to businesses already participating in the global market, and those looking to enter. 

Monique Marez, Director of International Trade, OTA

“The complex task of understanding foreign government regulations, along with the challenges of obtaining accurate information about a non-U.S. market and the difficulties in locating and connecting with buyers, are all frequently cited as barriers to organic exports,” said Monique Marez, Director of International Trade for OTA. “The new Global Organic Trade Resource Guide equips U.S. businesses with a baseline for success.” 

Example of a specific country page on the International Organic Trade Resource Guide

The new and enhanced guide will also contain specific pages for countries, which will expand on the following in addition to integrating relevant data and analysis from Euromonitor:

  • Qualitative and quantitative market information
  • Educational infographics
  • Detailed and in-depth policy information
  • Informative “Go to Market” reports

The U.S. has organic equivalency arrangements with Canada, the E.U., Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, and Switzerland, to allow organic products that are certified in one country to be labeled and sold as such in other countries without further inspections or authorizations, according to OTA; which could potentially impact the organic integrity of the products. 

OTA further emphasized that U.S. demand for the segment has grown as seen through 2015 sales and a record number of $43.3 billion. U.S. organic exports are also on the rise with $3.2 billion in 2015, highlighting the segment’s global growth as well.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Market Access Program, as well as the department’s Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops program, provided the upgrade for the guide.

Since the mid-1990s, OTA has worked to promote agricultural products in global markets in order to connect buyers and sellers. Its membership, according to the company, represents around 85 percent of the U.S.’s organic exports and offers market promotion activities to the entire organic industry. OTA has been an official cooperator in the USDA’s Market Access Program. 

Organic Trade Association